Infiltration Testing In Multifamily Buildings

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1 Infiltration Testing In Multifamily Buildings Don Hynek Wisconsin Division of Energy (608) Brody Vance Franklin Energy Services (262)

2 Goals Of This Workshop You CAN test infiltration in large MFB s Share some information on how we ve been doing it There are some very important planning considerations Hardware and set-up still require improvisation Communication with staff on site is critical Wisconsin work is on-going before-after analysis is in progress

3 Issues We WON T Discuss Why Test? Effects of air sealing known, but not quantified Small shell-volume ratio implies infiltration not important Stack effect implies air infiltration is huge driver Multi-point vs single-point test Test whole building or individual units Common sense says residence is the unit, not the entire building test unit Air sealing shell has good results test the shell

4 Testing The Entire Shell You get one chance--have enough capacity Close EVERY exterior window Open EVERY interior door (except utility room) Manage air handlers (turn off, cap, etc.) At least one security person on each floor Co-ordinate all doors Multi-point test - complex but necessary Minneapolis Doors interact!

5 Whole Building Test Methods Multi-point test is difficult, (but very necessary, IMHO.) Testing at pressures of 90+ Pa reduces wind effects (if you have capacity!) G H I D E F Unit 4 A B Unit 5 C

6 Infiltec G-54: 60,000 CFM, 25 HP unit

7 Multiple Minneapolis Doors Easier to distribute through building Smaller localized flows More manpower Communications and data issues

8 Using the G-54 Benefits Single unit; no communication issues Problems MFB s have small plenums Pressure may not be uniform to +/- 10% Need to keep air paths open Have 2 Ft 2 of opening for every 1,000 CFM Stairwells should be even larger MFB s often don t have suitable door

9 Pressure Responses Not Uniform 4-story office building with G-54 in loading dock

10 Multiple Minneapolis/RetroTec Fans Note: Three fans develop a LOT of force; secure the frame!

11 2905 W Wis. Experimental Site

12 Experimental Site Tests G-54 test from parking garage Unable to test leakage across garage/residence surface, a crucial surface Seven Minneapolis blower doors APT-guided tests Two fans in elevator penthouse Three fans in front door Single fans in two back first-floor door De-pressurize and pressurize modes

13 2905 W Wis. Single (G 54) Blower Door Non-uniform Response 1 st Floor Fifth Floor Tenth Floor All unit pressures about 25% lower than at blower door

14 Seven Minneapolis Doors Uniform Response Garage 1 st Floor Fifth Floor Tenth Floor Unit pressures 4-8% lower than at blower door

15 So How Do You Do This? Planning Capacity; 0.75 to 2 CFM50/Ft 2 of envelope Location of doors to attain clean air flows Prep of ventilation system What is winter operating condition? Operators, security, set-up and tear-down Communication Owners, managers, residents Staff that knows HVAC setup Security Assure owner/manager is prepared

16 Set-up and Scheduling Managers need lots of information What, when, why, how Residents need limited information Make sure managers commit staff Division of responsibility Management opens & secures building Management initiates any emergency response

17 Tools and Supplies Lots and lots of wedges & tubing/tees Set-up tools and supplies Drill driver, door hardware tools, ladder EPS foam, wire, line to secure fan hardware Poly sheeting, tape to seal intentional openings Heavy power cords, outlet adapters, light socket adapters, batteries Blower Doors/DG-700 s/apt & laptop Two-way radios Note that three fans make a lot of noise

18

19 Personnel Building One person on each hall/level One person at main entrance One person at all other heavily-used entries Blower Doors/DG-700 One operator for each location One person monitoring APT, calling marks, recording data ONE PERSON checks all gauge settings

20 So How Do You Do This? Real-time APT Pressure Monitoring Multiple sample locations; low and high, windward and leeward Watch gusts Mark readings when APT shows stable pressures Use common reference if possible Spot-check data while on site Excel spreadsheet for quick & dirty data check

21 APT Pressure Monitoring

22 So How Do You Do This? Start up slowly and get doors in synch Read baselines Start every door at low power; < 10 Pa Start stubborn/windward doors with cover on Ramp up doors in tandem Use HIGH pressures Have capacity to make 100 Pa We have taken areas of buildings to -140 Pa (don t try this at home )

23 Lessons Learned Eight Buildings, Tests Accurate, precise testing is possible Results with standard deviation < 1%, R 2 of 0.97 on windy day, 0.99 on good day Test 50 units in half a day Communications are constant problem Before and during testing Be Prepared! You get one shot Have tested in 25 MPH winds, day after an industrial explosion, in building without doors

24 More Lessons Learned APT units don t like to get cold A happy crew is an efficient crew (and vice versa) Be VERY clear what is happening, who does what Assure food, water, bathroom access

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